This private home was set within a relatively dark zone in Berkshire, and the owners wanted to apply for planning permission to extend the property . Their application needed to demonstrate that no excess light would spill to the property boundaries, and that existing bat and bird housings would be undisturbed – but the lighting proposed would also need to be adequate for the owners as well.

We were approached by the owners to support them with their application, and ensure that the lighting elements of the proposal would balance all these needs.

We undertook a virtual survey of the current house, and used 3D lighting level calculations to assess the impact of the existing internal lighting, and the new proposed external lighting.  We identified the locations of the bird and bat boxes, which confirmed that commuting and foraging bats were present within the project boundaries.

With this information in hand, we created new lighting design proposals to limit the impact of light pollution from artificial light on the neighbouring nature conservation. We created lighting calculations to present an isolux contour map, and gave careful consideration to the lighting equipment and methods to be used as measures to avoid unnecessary light pollution, and to keep any light spillage to 1lux both vertically and horizontally.

Our lighting plan was sensitive to the needs of the area, but practical and attractive for the owners – and planning permission was granted.


Located within a quiet E2 environmental zone and valley, this was treated as an effective dark sky area of the Kent countryside. A former stable yard here was to be transformed into a work and production space for a print company relocating from southeast London, complete with additional office space for other small businesses.

We were brought on board by Ecology Consultants and bat experts Ecology-by-Design to work with the client from Aspect Press, and their planning consultants Fuller Long, to survey the existing site and plan a new exterior lighting scheme. This was required to help discharge a planning condition relating to a section about a recent bat report in the area.

We provided the client with a full lighting strategy that would be sensitive to the surrounding wildlife and migratory bats. This included an Isolux contour map showing light spillage down to 1LUX, a schedule of lighting equipment, and control guidance. The scheme covered all the staff areas, parking, entrances, and delivery areas.

The new scheme would provide a safe, welcoming, and working environment for the premises for both employees, visitors and tenants – and we are proud to report that planning permission has been granted, lighting scheme included.

This beautiful property is located in an E2 environmental zone, in a relatively dark sky areas of the countryside, south of Cambridgeshire. The owners wanted to add an elegant new kitchen extension, but their first planning application was rejected, because of concerns that the light pollution from the new addition would be too intrusive on the neighbouring church and churchyard, to the detriment of the area.

Their architect, Neil Dusheiko, approached us at SKR to assist and advise on the plans for lighting the interior and exterior of the extension, to ensure that the plans would demonstrate how sensitive the new build would be to its setting – and even complementary. We also worked very closely with planning consultant Jacquie Andrews from Howard Sharp & Partners.

The final lighting report for the planning application focused on all elements of the new scheme, and more: the original building, the area surrounding the property, and the exterior lighting within the church grounds.  We undertook extensive exterior light measurements, a photographic survey, analysis of all current and new interior house lighting, and a 3D light calculation modelling analysis.

Bringing all these elements together, we were able to prove that there would be no significant light pollution, and that the new project would in fact be an improvement to the lighting footprint of the area.

We are proud to report that with our assistance and expert input, the new planning application was passed without objection.

 This was the client’s testimonial

“We used Neil Skinner at SKR LIGHTING DESIGN for a lighting survey which we needed for our planning application. We had been refused planning siting light pollution on the Church adjacent as the reason. Neil came on site to gather an extremely thorough amount of evidence which was presented in a clear and professional report which we could submit to planning, which subsequently reversed the rejection from the planning dept without having to go to appeal.

Neil was a pleasure to work with, his attention to detail and timings was exemplary. I would highly recommend Neil Skinner and SKR.”

This residential development is set within a relatively dark zone, and has existing external lighting – but more was required as the development expanded to enhance the security of the area. Bird and bat boxes are located nearby, and careful consideration was needed about the methods and equipment used to avoid unnecessary light pollution and to be sensitive to the needs of the local wildlife and environment.

At SKR, we created new lighting design proposals and calculations to limit impact of light pollution from artificial light, with any light spillage kept to 1lux both vertically and horizontally. We worked in partnership with the client, and with ecologist consultant Graeme Smart of GSL Ecology, to realise a simple, practical lighting scheme that gives enough task illumination, security illumination and guidance illumination for the owners, without disrupting the surrounding environments and biodiversity.

With these measures in place, the planning application was approved by the local authority.


This stunning riverside restaurant on the Thames was in need of expert help: they were seeking retrospective planning permission, and had to demonstrate sensitive external lighting within it. They needed to strike a balance between adequate lighting for their dining areas, with zero light spillage into the river, which boasts much aquatic biodiversity, wildlife, birdlife, and commuting and foraging bats.

We collaborated and coordinated with ecologist consultancy Ecology-By-Design to conduct a lighting survey of this area of river, and then created a unique technical lighting strategy that would meet both needs: illuminating the dining areas, with zero light spillage and light pollution into the river to disturb the local ecology and ecosystems. The strategy included an isolux contour map, with measures to avoid and limit the impact of light pollution from artificial light.

Originally, a large car park site located near Heathrow Airport, with neighbouring farm-land and a cemetery. Planning permission was required to develop the site into storage units, with minimal working light – while still providing enough light to be safe and secure for employees and visitors, and to create a pleasant and welcoming place to work and visit.

We were approached by planning consultant BERRYS to provide a site survey and develop a lighting strategy that would be sympathetic to this balance, and to meet the need for low light pollution impact on the local environment. We carried out a photographic site survey, light level LUX readings, and produced a lighting scheme with isolux contour maps which illustrated where we would plan to limit the impact of light pollution from the proposed artificial light. All of our plans followed reduction of obtrusive light guidelines, and limited light spill into the adjacent biodiverse habitats in the cemetery and farmland.

Planning permission was granted, with our lighting scheme included.

This 12 house development is located within a rural and very quiet E1/E2 environmental zone. This was treated as an effective dark sky area of the Surrey countryside. This former chicken farm site is surrounded by a protected ancient woodland with a roosting bat population, therefore any scheme needed to be fully lighting compliant before being able to discharge the planning condition.

SKR were brought into the project by Ecology Consultants and bat report experts Ecology-by-Design to work with the client, developer and planning consultant to create a sensitive lighting scheme to limit the impact of light pollution from artificial light on nature conservation to satisfy the planning conditions.

SKR carried out a detailed day and night lighting survey of the existing site, which included analysis of the existing agricultural buildings and current lighting, measuring light levels, light spill and all current light pollution on the site and taking note of problematic light pollution from some neighbouring properties for the record.

We provided the client with a full lighting strategy that would be sensitive to the surrounding wildlife and roosting bats, that included an Isolux contour map showing light spillage down to 1LUX, a schedule of lighting equipment and lighting control guidance. This covered all the house plots, garages, gardens, pathways, and parking.

The new scheme would provide a safe, welcoming feeling for the future new residents, while still being a safe dark zone for bats, all other wildlife and enhance the biodiversity.

This was the testimonial from our client David Jacobs, Director at St John Homes (Thames Valley) Ltd

We were introduced to Neil Skinner at SKR Lighting Design through recommendation. The Local Planning Authority requested an external lighting survey to assess the impacts of our residential development proposal on a former chicken farm site in a sensitive landscape and ecological setting (inclusive of ancient woodland on part of the site boundaries). Neil undertook a thorough review of the site measuring the current external lighting impacts and designed a sensitive external lighting scheme in conjunction with our appointed ecologists Ecology by Design for our proposed scheme. The follow up report resulted in the LPA being satisfied with the proposals and the external lighting scheme.

Neil was a pleasure to work with and successfully addressed the issues raised in a prompt and thorough manner. I would highly recommend SKR for this skillset which we are now seeing as a more common requirement on our future projects.”

This Five Star historic manor hotel, located in the Hampshire countryside, is an elegant country house rich in history and set in 35 acres of gardens.  The owners were carrying out a major refurbishment of the entire site, and required a detailed external lighting project to support their application for planning permission.

There were many ecological elements to consider. SKR Lighting Design worked closely with ecologist consultancy Tyler Grange, who presented a bat report; and with landscape architects Bramhill Design, lead architects Krause, and project managersRPA, to put together a sensitive exterior lighting design scheme.  The final plans take measures to avoid disturbance to wildlife and biodiversity, aquatic life and commuting and foraging bats.

This was a major piece of work for the owners, and the planning application had to be right for them, for the local area, and for the local wildlife. Our expertise in lighting ensured that the planning application was approved, and the new lighting schemes will enhance and elevate these ambitious renovations, without impacting negatively on the local environment in any way.

The prestigious UK Atomic Energy Authority visitor centre in Oxford: a UK Government scientific research facility, which required support from us for the lighting elements of a major planning application.

The site sits on the edge of a brightly illuminated area, however there are also significant rural and dark sky areas to the east and west of the site, as well as a recently surveyed area of trees with an active bat population. Isolux contour maps were included within the lighting report, with special consideration for where equipment would be placed throughout the site, and what specific equipment would be used.

There is plenty of activity and traffic in and around the site, with car parks, security checks, pedestrian access, and cycle routes all requiring illumination. Links to the railway station and congregation zones also had to be factored in. Each area required a considered lighting approach, whilst limiting the impact of artificial light spillage and pollution.

Working in close collaboration with architects Ridge and landscape architects LDA,  we produced a lighting design concept and full detailed lighting design package for the exterior entrance and landscapes – plus a lighting strategy planning document, which formed part of the overall planning application which was coordinated by Ridge.

We’re proud to have supported this complex planning application – which was approved.



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